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Friday, January 15, 2010

The Present and Future Of Music or "In Search Of Beatport"

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|I was attempting to sell my music on Beatport.com which is arguably the premier site for purchasing House and Dance online.  Needless to say I was not successful as they were not open to adding new content unless you belonged to one of the labels that already existed on the site.  As I researched how to get my music on the site I found that online music has gone to the distribution model that the music industry had adopted with records, tapes and CDs long ago.  At first I was disappointed and thought that I would have to go with one of the labels.  I did not have a good experience with the last time I was on a label as I was left to accept what news I received on sales as true.  This is sometimes the standard with Indie labels and when I asked about royalties I would always get the standard number of sales that everyone got even though my independent numbers on my mixes where 5 times that number.  Granted the record sales represented what the DJs in the world purchased versus the number of mix sales which represented the fans.  Since I was making money doing what I loved I was not too upset with the process.

Forward to the present  where I have my own publishing, Halsted Street Entertainment (ASCAP), and several people who write songs that I publish.  Records still get pressed but only after a strong showing on digital sales unless the company that is maunfacturing feels that the music will justify a pressing .  This is fine but there has been a resurgence of record pressings by the industry and a number of DJs who refuse to use digital files or CDs to ply their trade.  Ever since there were record players that played all three formats (33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPMs.  You have to be older to remember these), Music has been sold in multiple formats and House producers should get used to this.  The lucky few that have been assimilated into the mainstream got there because somebody responsible for putting music on a soundtrack or commercial stumbled upon the track and thought it was cool.  Since the newcomer will unwittingly work for cheap, the process has become a good way to fill a soundtrack and still have money for the big name act or producer to legitimize the soundtrack and assure exposure and sales.

More and more producers are going the way of independently putting out music for a chance at signing with a big company while building their fan base.  In my search for a way to get onto the elusive Beatport roster I stumbled upon the new trend in music which is digital distribution.  Like the original idea of distribution, a central organization would represent multiple labels and distribute the music to multiple outlets.  This is beneficial to both the labels and the outlet channels normally but at the advent of this "new" aspect of music distribution it has become advantageous to the independent artist like House and Dance producers like me.  Not only did I join bt I became an A&R for the company which provides distibutiion as well as UPC codes which are necessary to sell your music to the outlets and to count your sales towards RIAA certification.  One of the sites that allow this is Record Union.  You can sign up and get started immediately.  Use code DF1aa94e72 for two free UPC codes so you can post and distribute your music immediately.

P.S.  If you are unfamiliar with publishing your music with a music society like ASCAP or BMI please contact me and I will point your towards a society.  It is very important to be published as many companies won't consider your music for things such as movie soundtracks and commercial use without it.

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